/ Poca Buidhe bothy, Beinn Eighe
Has anyone stayed in the Poca Buidhe bothy a little north of Beinn Eighe in the last year? I understood there was a section left open for walkers, but I also saw a post dated last summer saying a new laird of the estate had locked it up. I'm having trouble contacting the estate to get a proper answer.
Also wondered if anyone knew of any decent howffs in the vicinity. Planning a 2-day mission but would rather not have to carry a tent.
Is this the one at the end of Loch na h-Oidche? If so firmly locked when we passed by last year.
Locked last time I looked.
Also bad form to even be mentioning a non-mba bothy by name on an internet forum, would have been better to ask for an estate contact or names/contacts of local ghillie's.
There are some howffs in the vicinity, but none really weatherproof, and the one nearest the bothy wasn't particularly attractive (see below).
Surroundings of bothy had at one point a lot of rubbish, couldn't make out if it were estate parties, or others. If others, can appreaciate why the estate locked it up.
Nice area, enjoy yourself.
This bothy has been locked for at least the past 4 years.No change to this estate ownership in the past 500 years! THere is a corrugated iron boathouse at the morth end of Loch na h'Oidche which would give some shelter - if not exactly comfortable it's reasonably wind and watertight.
Aye locked for a while, pity grand location. Shame people have been advertising it on forums and also Youtube, ffs. If estates were interested in the world knowing about the locations of buildings they allowed/tolerate being used as bothies they would approach the MBA, or communicate in other ways.
If they haven't and don't, they probably don't appreaciate all and sundry blogging and forum posting about them either.
Unfortunately that's the way things are since the internet. Wishing it weren't so won't change anything, any sort of ethics about not advertising locations etc are long gone.
When I first joined the MBA they didn;'t even give a list of bothies to their members - but they saw the way things were going some time ago and now list them on their website.
THe estate owner , John MacKenzie, who very unusually for a Highland Laird and clan chief was a climber and is a former president of the SMC may have retired from the management of the estate which has been taken over by his son. This may have caused a change in attitude to access to the bothy. I will have a word with my neighbour who has on occasion helped with maintenance work at the bothy.
You're well ahead of me in knowing what's happening on the estate, but you're very understandably muddling your John Mackenzies. The Poca Buidhe landowner is John A Mackenzie of Gairloch; the 'other' John Mackenzie, Lord Cromartie, clan chief, is still a bold and active climber and ferreter-out of new routes; he's currently President of the SMC, as well as being a former President of the MCofS. One of the good guys.
Yep. I supported the decision of the MBA to provide GRef's for bothies that they maintain on the web. The MBA bothy list, was readily independantly circulating on the web, at that point.
This has the unintended benefit preserving non-mba locations, as most web searches provide umpteen references to mba locations. Which 'swamp' the odd blog and photo of non-mba bothies.
I was highlighting the fact that estates allowing buildings to be used as bothys outwith of the mba system, might very well change thier mind if use (and potential abuse) increases due to them becoming more widely known.
Sorry Bob - wrong MacKenzie. All my MacKenzie neighbours have nicknames. I wonder if the same applies to clan chiefs?
Don't really understand the 'bad form' thing. Sounds like something from a pre-internet age to me.
I called the estate and spoke to a MacKenzie. He confirmed it was locked up because people were leaving it a right mess.
He told me something else, of great interest to those who like walking in the area. But maybe i had better keep it under my hat..
You have no right to stay in a private building and are there on good will. (or even against the wishes of the landowner). It is very bad manners to advertise such places to all and sundry - the internet has the ability to allow private messages so its not a secrecy thing.
There are some such buildings which will be locked if advertised according to their owners. It may be a big egalitarian gesture on your part, but it could deprive everyone of a useful resource.
if that means no-one should share any information on such places in any form then i understand what you mean. if you're saying only certain people should be trusted with such information, then what i don't understand is who should be trusted and who is 'all and sundry'.
it's not so much that i'm disagreeing, more that i absolutely would not want to do anything that encourages owners to lock such places, and therefore if i need to alter my (internet) behaviour accordingly i need to understand the argument.
Hope you enjoy yourself, the far NW was looking absolutely splendid last w/e.
As to who you should share such information with, think of it as lending something. You'd trust some of your friends with some bits of kit, some even your car or house, but possibly not others.
When in a bothy you'd make a judgement as to whether your new found companions around the bothy fire would appreaciate knowing of another bothy in a certain area, would treat it with respect and trust that they would be equally careful about passing the information on.
On the internet it is difficult to make such a judgement, but more importantly even if an OP such as yourself appears responsible, there is the potential for others who are following the thread to be less so.
As you mentioned Poca B' was locked by the estate due to problems, other bothies could be also be locked.
The main difference between publishing and posting the location of a bothy / howff / doss on the internet and simply telling someone about it is that you quickly lose control of who has the information online, and it remains a public record long after the event.
A conversation held round the bothy fire about other dosses is only between those present and so you can make a judgement about whether you tell them or not. And if you do, its private - someone walking into the bothy in 6 months time wont be given the same info (unless you etched it onto the wall, or it has really funny acoustics....)
A blog entry or post stays on t'interweb, and can be viewed by anyone long after.
Also, though most estates do tolerate usage, they also ask not to have the location published online as too many people using a building can cause problems. I can think of a few that have been closed for this reason apart from Poca Buidhe as unfortunately a significant number of bothiers really don't respect the bothys or their surrounds well.
Most of the non MBA bothies I know of have come from chatting to other bothy goers, or been found by accident which would be the traditional way the information was spread. I've been put onto a few (some that worked out, some that didn't) but part of that trust was that I'd be selective with who I passed the info onto.
It may seem unfair in a modern context where we are used to being able to get any info we want with minimal effort on our parts simply by consulting google, but it's a healthier way IMO.
My point is that if you publish information about a bothy, doss, howff etc on a blog, forum etc, it stays a matter of public record for a long time afterwards so you have no control over who uses that info. If you stick to private conversations (either in the real world or online), you can make a judgement over whether the person your speaking to is OK to tell, or not and part of that will be whether you think they'll tell all and sundry themselves. Months/years later, someone else looking for a boozing den can't happen across your blog entry / forum post and ruin a great bothy that way.
For instance I wouldn't trust anyone who walks into a bothy wearing welly's...........definately not to be trusted, doesn't even adhere to thou must have wet feet by the time you have got to the bothy rule!
Yes, i see what you mean. Thanks for explaining.
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